Thursday, March 31, 2011

Is there a referee in the house?

Cobi Jones, Eddie Pope, and Earnie Stewart Elected to National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2011

CHICAGO (March 29, 2011) – Cobi Jones, the U.S. Men’s National Team’s all-time leading cap winner and long-time member of the LA Galaxy, Eddie Pope, a perennial anchor of the U.S. defense for nearly a decade and winner of three MLS Cups with D.C. United, and Earnie Stewart, a three-time World Cup veteran, have been elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2011 on the Player ballot.

Joining the players in this year’s class are Bruce Murray, a midfielder and forward who was one of the leading stars of the U.S. Men’s National Team in the late 1980s and early 1990s who was elected on the Veteran ballot, and former U.S. Men’s National Team and Kansas City Wizards head coach Bob Gansler, who was elected on the Builder ballot. ...

See the whole press release here from US Soccer.

Kicking Back Comments: In looking at the nominations, I am a little surprised that there are not any referees on the list. What surprises me more is there are no ASSISTANT REFEREES on the list. If you look at the criteria to be nominated:
Builders are nominated by making their mark in the soccer community in a non-playing capacity while sustaining a major and positive impact on U.S. Soccer on a national or professional level for 10 years. Referees must serve as a FIFA referee for at least seven years to be eligible.
Actually there are three things that surprise me. First, as I stated above, no assistant referees were nominated. I can certainly think of a couple right off the top. I can also think of a few US FIFA referees too who served with distinction for more than 7 years. Not even a nomination.

Second, is players get their own category, as they should. They are in a class to themselves unquestionably. Why not referees though? Like administrators and coaches (also in the "builder" category) they certainly have a significant impact on THE game, yet like players compete on the international stage ... as an athlete and have "caps" as do players. Let us not forget folks, they are inside the field too. Yet are lumped into the "builder" category as other non-active participants. Seems odd to me. Oh yeah, they are generally volunteers too don't forget. While players, coaches, and some administrators get salaries for their time ... referees get a game fee.

Lastly in looking at the list of HOF inductees as builders here, how many referees did you notice? Not too many, and only one of fairly modern note, Alfred Kleinaitis. That is quite pathetic actually. One would think if a lifetime is spent achieving a FIFA badge, and you serve for 7 years in that capacity as so many before have, you would at least get a nomination to the HOF. Just a nomination folks.

For all the crap heaped on referees, you would think that US Soccer would offer a laurel every now and then.

Sour grapes ... maybe. But an inexplicable slight on a vibrant community that is part of every single game ... certainly.

No comments:

Post a Comment